Because he’s making a comeback after an absence of more than 4 years, Cogie Domingo was pelted with questions from the movie press during a mini-presscon a few days ago for “Muli,” an indie film serving as his relaunching vehicle, directed by Adolfo B. Alix Jr. from a Palanca Award-winner screenplay by Jerry Gracio.


Was he really into drugs, so serious that he had to be “rehabilitated?”

Did he go to the States to hide after he got involved with a woman who’s the common-law wife of a powerful politician who has children with her?

And, while in the States, did he have a (brief?) romance with Angel Locsin?

More mature now in looks and demeanor, Cogie, 24, begged off from answering those “sensitive” questions, saying he has relegated the (painful/bitter) past behind him and is moving on.

“I did try drugs,” he conceded, “pero hindi naman ako naging heavy user.”

And, no, he said he didn’t know that the woman linked to him was committed to a powerful man, without admitting if they ever had an affair.

Part of Cogie’s “moving on” is his doing a bold and daring role in Muli which should have started shooting in Baguio by this time, done by the same group behind the indie film Daybreak (about a gay couple) for the forthcoming 2010 Cinemalaya.

He plays a latent bisexual lawyer who gets into an affair with Sid Lucero who plays an ex-seminarian involved in the underground movement. The two have eight love scenes which will, according to Noel Ferrer who’s a member of the production, put to shame those of the late Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal’s in the landmark Ang Lee movie Brokeback Mountain which was so critically acclaimed that it helped erase the stigma attached to actors playing a gay character.

It won’t be Cogie’s first such scene with a fellow actor. In GMA Films’ Deathrow which launched him to stardom several years ago, Cogie plays a minor convict raped by a fellow inmate (played by Pen Medina).

“It was mild compared to Sid and my love scenes in Muli,” said Cogie who was last seen four years ago in Gil M. Portes’ Mourning Girls.

“Why did I accept the role? I read the script and I like it. Maganda. And I trust the director and my co-stars.”

Aside from Cogie and Sid, Muli, under MJM Films, also stars in the lead Marco Alcaraz, with a supporting cast that includes Paolo Rivero, Andrew Miguel, Arnold Reyes, Ardie Bascara (introducing) and Rocky Salumbides (the PBB graduate who is Eula Valdez’s boyfriend); plus Joross Gamboa, John Manalo in “special participation.” The female cast include Evelyn Vargas, Angeli Bayani, Max Eigenmann and Anita Linda. It’s the first solo venture of Edgar Mangahas who co-produced Star Cinema’s Caregiver, and Springfield Films’ Manila and Kimmy Dora (with Piolo Pascual as co-producer).

Asked why he didn’t include his good friends Piolo, Diether Ocampo, Marcus Madrigal and Gerald Anderson in the cast of Muli — you know, to give the film more box-office appeal — Edgar smiled. “I don’t think they are ready to play that kind of role.”

And how did the all-male cast of Muli prepare for their roles (as in, did they watch male couples doing “it” in a gay bar, etc.)?

Edgar, who is friendly with showbiz people, smiled again but made no comment.

Oh well, maybe there wasn’t any need to. Using their imagination must be good enough.

Angel clarifies Cogie non-issue

Funfare had a brief phone interview with Angel Locsin yesterday after the presscon for Century Tuna which she and Derek Ramsay are endorsing.

I asked Angel about Cogie and she denied that he ever was her boyfriend, even if Cogie’s mom, Zeny Domingo, has presumed that the two were an item.

A few years ago, Angel left for the States and proceeded to London where she said she took up a crash course in fashion designing.

“I was with my sister then and we did meet with Cogie,” recalled Angel. “During an outing, Cogie drove us around. He said we had to drop by their house because he forgot something. That’s where I met his mom. Cogie introduced me to her but he never said that I was his girlfriend.”

No, Angel clarified, she and her sister (and maybe others in her group) stayed in a hotel and not at Cogie’s home.

“When we went back to L.A. from London, I learned that Cogie bought a ticket for the same flight with us to Manila. I was surprised. I told pa nga that if he would fly with us, baka matsismis kaming dalawa. Mainit sa akin ang press noon and I was sure that reporters were waiting for us at the airport. I want to make it clear that Cogie was just a friend, never my boyfriend.”

Angel wondered why the non-issue was being dug up when, she said, it happened “a long time ago.” I told her that in fairness to Cogie, he never commented about it, never confirmed nor denied that they were ever “on.”

What Funfare sources know is that Cogie was, indeed, once the boyfriend of Krista Ranillo and Anne Curtis. Unless, of course, the two girls would deny it. -FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo The Philippine Star